A PO Box is the best choice if you have basic needs for a mailbox service that will protect your privacy or for keeping an address that you will use for mailing address purposes. In this article you’ll find out the the main reasons you’ll want to get a PO Box and if it’s a fit for your business needs.
What is a PO Box
A post office box, or known as a PO Box or a Postal Box, is a lockable mailbox located in a post office station. PO Boxes are traditionally used to receive mail when you live in areas where mail is not delivered directly to your home. These days, PO Boxes can be used for other purposes other than necessity.
What are the Advantages of a PO Box
PO Boxes offer a wide variety of benefits that will appeal to many people. Here are just a few to consider:
- You get a permanent business address
- You’ll be able to protect your privacy if you use your home address
- You’ll have mail security because a PO Box is physically located inside a post office and is securely monitored in the location. It is also locked and accessible only with a key or lock combination.
- You’ll get faster delivery of mail and packages from USPS because PO Boxes are hosted by the Post Office
What are the Disadvantages of a PO Box
A PO Box may suffice for more personal reasons, however a PO Box has many disadvantages for a startup business.
- PO Boxes do not provide a professional business image
- A physical street address is required for your registered agent for an LLC or corporation and PO Boxes are not an accepted address
- A PO Box can only receive mail delivered through USPS and not other carriers such as FedEx or UPS
- You will have to physically maintain and stay on top of your mail to make sure that your PO Box does not overfill
- You have to be careful with packages because if a package does not fit in your PO Box it will be set aside by USPS
- Mail forwarding and package forwarding from a PO Box is not cheap, USPS charges extra fees to perform these services
Why Should You Get a PO Box
Now that you know what a PO Box is and its advantages and disadvantages, let’s dive into those reasons as to why you should rent a PO Box with all the information at your disposal.
A PO Box is located inside a post office. It is locked and accessible only if you have the right key or lock combination. Selected Post Offices have extended business hours and/or 24/7 lobby access so you can pick up your mail at any time. Mail stored in your postal box is also more secure compared to mail inside your mailbox at home because mail is often left in an unlocked mailbox that's easy for strangers to rummage through.
Because PO Boxes are hosted by the Post Office, mail gets delivered faster to a postal box than to a residential or business address. There is no waiting for the postman to drop mail off at your home or office. You new mail is usually available before 12:00pm. This is convenient if you need to get particular mail that requires same-day mail-out.
Another primary reason why people rent a PO Box is to protect their privacy. There are certain times when you don't want certain people to know where you live. By getting a postal box, you get another mailing address that you can use for selected contacts and transactions.
A great example for using a PO Box is for receiving rent on real estate properties from your tenants. There are good reasons for not wanting your tenants to know where you live, specific to when there comes a day that eviction is required.
Fees for PO Boxes are inexpensive. Depending on the box location and size, a 6 month term starts for as low as $10. However, you need to make sure that you get the proper box size that fits your incoming mail volume.
Permanent Mailing Address
A PO Box is great for people who travel often. If you've ever relocated, you know the pain you go through - changing mailing address for bills, bank statements, and magazine subscriptions, updating personal information with the IRS and the government, and sending email or emailing friends your new address. It's very easy to miss updating an important service. Next thing you know, you end up with identity theft because someone happened to get his hands on your personal mail. A PO Box reduces this problem by cutting down the frequency required to change your mailing address every time you move.
When Should I Get A PO Box
If you have simple basic needs for a mailbox service such as protecting your privacy or for keeping an address that you use for mailing address purposes, a PO Box is a good choice. You can learn how to get a PO Box in our article 3 Easy Steps on How To Get a PO Box.
PO Boxes, however, are not the best choice under certain circumstances. Some reasons for why a PO Box is not ideal is for registering an LLC or corporation, which requires a physical address. Read more on why you need a business address for an LLC or corporation.
A PO Box Doesn’t Work, What Should You Get?
PO Boxes are not the best choice if you are registering an LLC or corporation. PO Boxes are also not the most convenient mail solution if you work and travel often. It’s not a fit if you have a remote business.
As an alternative you might want to consider a virtual mailbox.
VirtualPostMail (VPM) virtual mailbox services provides you with a permanent business address to receive postal mail, packages, and use as your business address. You can view your mail online at your convenience, from any device, and anywhere. Then, you decide whether to have the mail opened and scanned, mail forwarded, or destroyed. Managing your postal mail online is so easy; you won't want to handle mail the traditional way again.